Archive for Talents

Unleashed Rage and Lava Lash

Tidying up a few loose quests, and doing my first run in Zul’Aman saw Stormshaper reach level 45. At this point, I have added talent points in Unleashed Rage and Lava Lash and I’m going to discuss these talents in this point.

Unleashed Rage is a very handy talent to have, both for yourself and for any raid party you find yourself in. It increases your expertise at all times, and boosts the attack power of all nearby party members whenever the shaman has a critical hit. At the moment, I have two points in Unleashed Rage, and I aim to maximise it as soon as I reach the next level.

Unleashed Rage gives 1 expertise and 4% attack power increase at level 1. At level 2 expertise is increased to 6 and attack power is increased by 7% and at level 3, expertise is increased to 9 and attack power is increased by a massive 10%.

At higher end raiding, this buff will not stack with a Death Knight’s Abomination’s Strength buff, or with a Hunter’s Trueshot Aura, but for levelling up, you should be welcomed heartily by any party you find yourself in because your fellow members are going to benefit significantly each time you have a critical strike.

Lava Lash is a relatively new talent that was added in patch 3.0.2. It requires 36 points in the Enhancement Tree before the Shaman can learn it. The tooltip says that it instantly deals 100% of off-hand weapon damage. Damage is increased by 25% if the weapon is enchanted with Flametongue.

Reading the tooltip, this means that my offhand (currently a dagger) really needs to be a slower weapon (an axe or a mace) and that weapon will need to be imbued with Flametongue Weapon at all times to get the 25% damage increase. That means that Lava Lash will grant me 125% weapon damage straight off the bat, which is not to be sniffed at.

The cost of Lava Lash is 4% of base mana (not the mana you have when you use Lava Lash, your total base mana), so it could be quite mana-intensive. However, it does have a six second cooldown, so in the shorter boss fights encountered while levelling up, you might get one, or maybe two Lava Lash strikes off before the boss dies, which might not be so bad.

I’m queued for Maraudon, so we’ll see how it goes in there. I’ll also have to work out a rotation to include Lava Lash as and when it’s available.

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Talent Trees

So, a Shaman is a hybrid class. That means that they can be a jack of all trades. They can melee DPS, they can be caster DPS, they can heal, they bring buffs to the raid and they can interrupt like mad. They are a good all rounder.

According to WoWWiki, it was the class designer’s stated intent that Enhancement would be the levelling tree for the Shaman class. As the class designer knows far more about the class than I ever will, I decided that would be good enough for me, and I put my talent points into Enhancement as soon as I reached level 10.

Utilising the talents in this tree significantly boosts your damage output. Over the levelling period, as I gained more and more totems to assist me, I could take on mobs of three and four at a time without any difficulty at all. The amount of damage being thrown out by the shaman was amazing.

Up to level 40, I carried a 1H mace and a shield. I never bothered buying a shield at any level, I would basically use any green items that dropped or were rewarded for completing quests. The dropped/reward items were more than adequate for my levelling needs. I decided that as soon as I reached level 40, I would learn dual wield and go with two Bind on Account weapons from this point onward.

The Bind on Account weapons I went with are the 1 handed mace Venerable Mace of McGowan and the Balanced Heartseeker dagger.

Shamans learn temporary weapon enchants as they level up through the ranks towards 80. Your initial temporary enchant is Rockbiter weapon which is a straight DPS increase. Different forms of these elemental enchants become available over time offering various enhancements. Flametongue weapon, Windfury Weapon, Frostbrand Weapon and so on.

On the mace I went with Windfury Weapon as the mace has a significantly slower speed than the dagger which was imbued with Flametongue weapon.

As the Shaman’s weapon enchants are temporary they stack with permanent weapon enchants such as Crusader or Mongoose, and their procs can trigger the permanent weapon enchant too. On the 1H mace, I have enchanted it with Crusader. The dagger has an agility enchant on it which is a useful statistic for melee classes.

You should be aware that Bind On Account weapons have an item level of 1 regardless of what level your character is, so enchants like Mongoose that require a minimum weapon level cannot be applied to them.

So, with my dual wield talent in place, my talent tree looks like this: WoWhead Talent Calculator

The next couple of levels I’ll add to Unleashed Rage and gain the Lava Lash talent. These appear to offer me and any raid I’m in a few nice attacking buffs.

I’ve got to get some weapons that are more attuned to a Shaman. The BoA weapons I have are fine and serve me well, but I want to get a couple of Shaman-specific weapons to see if I can utilise the temporary weapon enchants, and get a better knowledge of their mechanic.

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